Although the first line of therapy for epithelial ovarian cancer typically consists of taxane-platinum combination therapy, many patients develop a platinum-resistant tumor within a year. Several previous studies have looked at this cross-resistance between cisplatin and anti-microtubule drugs, but their findings have been somewhat conflicting. Here, we developed cisplatin-resistant cell lines that are resistant to low and high levels of cisplatin and explored the effects of three anti-microtubule drugs (paclitaxel, vincristine, and colchicine) on the parental and cisplatin-resistant cells. We found that cells resistant to lower levels of cisplatin were no more resistant to anti-microtubule drugs than parental cells, while cells that were resistant to higher levels of cisplatin had a subpopulation of cells that were cross-resistant to anti-microtubule drugs, clarifying discrepancies within the field. We then isolated this subpopulation by applying selective pressure with anti-microtubule drugs and performed RNA sequencing and gene set enrichment analysis to identify resistance mechanisms. This subpopulation was found to express increased levels of pro-survival TNF/NFκB signaling, among other enriched pathways, suggesting that cross-resistance was due to more general survival mechanisms found in the cisplatin-selected cells.
Published by Elsevier Inc.